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The dynamics of diachronous extinction associated with climatic deterioration near the neogene/quaternary boundary

The dynamics of diachronous extinction associated with climatic deterioration near the neogene/quaternary boundary
The dynamics of diachronous extinction associated with climatic deterioration near the neogene/quaternary boundary
To predict extinction we must understand the processes leading to population decline. Once a critical threshold of population size is reached, small environmental perturbations can push a species over the cliff-edge to extinction, so the main drivers of extinction are the factors that cause the initial reduction in population size. Most studies of population decline leading up to extinction focus on modern species, the extinction of which is often dominantly driven by humans. The drivers of population decline leading to non-human mediated extinctions are less well known but changes in climate are arguably the most widely invoked mechanism. Here, we report data on >16,000 individuals of the planktonic foraminifer Globoconella puncticulata from six sites in the Atlantic Ocean along a 83 degree-long latitudinal transect, over a 600,000-year interval leading up to the species’ global extinction during the late Pliocene-earliest Pleistocene intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. We show changes in geographic range, abundance and body size. We find that populations do not follow a North-to-South sequence in extinction as Earth cooled and developed large ice sheets in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Instead, our results suggest that populations are differentially adapted to local environmental settings, that population dynamics in core populations differ from those at the edge of their range, and that individual population responses to external pressures are essential to understanding the drivers of global extinction. Our study demonstrates the potential to transform our understanding of extinction dynamics through spatially replicated sampling of the highly-resolved marine microfossil record.
Northern Hemisphere glaciation, Pliocene, biogeographic range contraction, extinction, planktonic foraminifera, pre-extinction dwarfing
2572-4525
Brombacher, Anieke
2a4bbb84-4743-4a36-973b-4ad2bf743154
Wilson, Paul
f940a9f0-fa5a-4a64-9061-f0794bfbf7c6
Bailey, Ian
e659068f-e591-4185-afd1-5e19a5794bda
Ezard, Thomas
a143a893-07d0-4673-a2dd-cea2cd7e1374
Brombacher, Anieke
2a4bbb84-4743-4a36-973b-4ad2bf743154
Wilson, Paul
f940a9f0-fa5a-4a64-9061-f0794bfbf7c6
Bailey, Ian
e659068f-e591-4185-afd1-5e19a5794bda
Ezard, Thomas
a143a893-07d0-4673-a2dd-cea2cd7e1374

Brombacher, Anieke, Wilson, Paul, Bailey, Ian and Ezard, Thomas (2021) The dynamics of diachronous extinction associated with climatic deterioration near the neogene/quaternary boundary. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 36 (6), [e2020PA004205]. (doi:10.1029/2020PA004205).

Record type: Article

Abstract

To predict extinction we must understand the processes leading to population decline. Once a critical threshold of population size is reached, small environmental perturbations can push a species over the cliff-edge to extinction, so the main drivers of extinction are the factors that cause the initial reduction in population size. Most studies of population decline leading up to extinction focus on modern species, the extinction of which is often dominantly driven by humans. The drivers of population decline leading to non-human mediated extinctions are less well known but changes in climate are arguably the most widely invoked mechanism. Here, we report data on >16,000 individuals of the planktonic foraminifer Globoconella puncticulata from six sites in the Atlantic Ocean along a 83 degree-long latitudinal transect, over a 600,000-year interval leading up to the species’ global extinction during the late Pliocene-earliest Pleistocene intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation. We show changes in geographic range, abundance and body size. We find that populations do not follow a North-to-South sequence in extinction as Earth cooled and developed large ice sheets in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. Instead, our results suggest that populations are differentially adapted to local environmental settings, that population dynamics in core populations differ from those at the edge of their range, and that individual population responses to external pressures are essential to understanding the drivers of global extinction. Our study demonstrates the potential to transform our understanding of extinction dynamics through spatially replicated sampling of the highly-resolved marine microfossil record.

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Brombacher et al., accepted - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 May 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 June 2021
Keywords: Northern Hemisphere glaciation, Pliocene, biogeographic range contraction, extinction, planktonic foraminifera, pre-extinction dwarfing

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449651
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449651
ISSN: 2572-4525
PURE UUID: 30b836dc-b209-4ab4-b214-0ecd9e01422c
ORCID for Anieke Brombacher: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2310-047X
ORCID for Thomas Ezard: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8305-6605

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Jun 2021 16:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:12

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Contributors

Author: Paul Wilson
Author: Ian Bailey
Author: Thomas Ezard ORCID iD

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